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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Takeaways: Buccaneers vs. Bengals

Five things we learned from the Buccaneers' victory over the Bengals.


1. The pass-rush starts with Gerald McCoy.
The Bucs' defense recorded four sacks on Monday, three of which were earned by the first team. Although McCoy was only credited for a half of a sack, the pressure he applied led to others taking down the quarterback. On one play in particular, George Johnson took down Andy Dalton, but McCoy was largely responsible for disrupting the offensive line.

2. The Bucs believe in Patrick Murray.
There are two kickers on the Bucs' roster, but just one, Murray, has attempted a field goal or extra point in either of the Bucs' two preseason games. Murray missed a field goal and an extra point on Monday, but despite some struggles, the Bucs kept him in for the duration of the game. Murray, who missed just four field goals in 2014, did boot an impressive, 53-yard field goal in the second quarter.

3. There's competition for the kick returner job.
Kaelin Clay was drafted largely because of his ability to return kicks and was listed as the starting punt and kicker returner when the Bucs released their first depth chart. Clay started the Bucs' preseason opener at both positions, but on Monday, it was Kenny Bell returning the opening kickoff. Clay returned two kicks on the day while Bell returned one and Clay averaged 2.5 yards more per return.

4. D.J. Swearinger plays with a mean streak.
Swearinger's calling card with the Texans was his ability to lay big hits on receivers and running backs, and Bucs fans got a taste of that on Monday night. In the second quarter, Dalton placed a ball right on Tyler Eifert's hands on the goal line, but Swearinger jacked him up to prevent the pass from being completed.

5. Mike James leads Dominique Brown.
Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey will all likely land on the 53-man roster, leaving James and Brown battling against each other for a roster spot. So far, James has pulled ahead in that competition. James carried the ball nine times for 39 yards on Monday night, averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. Brown ran the ball 14 times for 24 yards, an average of 1.7 yards. Brown also had his number called three times in a row from the one-yard line, a situation the Bucs would like to use the 6-foot-2, 240-pounder in, and Brown was unable to punch it in.

Photos from the Buccaneers' preseason game against the Bengals at Raymond James Stadium.

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